Target Walleye/Ice email

Record walleye found, Al talks Jigging Raps, Spinner rig new weeds

Today’s Top 5

Al Lindner’s all-time favorite walleye bait.

Al “you-might-have-heard-of-him” Lindner was asked by the AnglingBuzzard himself, Nick Lindner: “If you could pick only one walleye lure, what would it be and why?”

His answer: The OG of hard-bodied jigging baits…a Rapala Jigging Rap. Al has spent thousands of hours fine tuning the technique, so when he talks…listen:

> When the water temp gets to around the high-50s in the spring of the year, all the way to almost ice up in fall, the Rapala Jigging Rap is my favorite bait. I never go on the water without one tied on…EVER. It produces fish for me all-season long and in most cases out-fishes most other baits. Simply the most amazing walleye-producing lure I’ve ever seen.

> …95 degrees, hot, calm and sunny? One of my favorite times to put a Jigging Rap on and catch 30 or 40 walleyes in the middle of the afternoon…when everybody else is whining about how bad the bite is. “I gotta wait ’til the 45 minutes at sunset to get a few bites’…not if you put one of these things on, it’s a reaction bite….

> About 50% of the time I’m casting the Jigging Rap, 40% of the time I’m pulling it behind the boat and 10% is spent vertical jigging it underneath my transducer.

> In most cases I do a #7 and a #9 — it’s about 50/50. Once in a great while, when I get fish real shallow, I’ll go to a #5…don’t write it off.

> To fish this thing right, you need to put a barrel swivel about 15-18″ above the bait — especially if you’re casting into the wind. The way the bait fishes [and spins on the cast] will cause line twist and a barrel swivel simply eliminates that.

> My leader material is the same line that’s on my reel, 10-lb mono. I’ve said it before many times and I’ll say it again…you’re going to land WAY more fish with monofilament. Day in and day out I use 10-lb Sufix mono. It’s that simple, you don’t have to complicate it.

> The worst thing you could do is fish it on braid…it’s gonna cost. If you’re gonna be a serious Jigging Rap walleye fisherman — and want to maximize everything with it — make sure you use mono. Do I sound forceful on it? I’m trying to help you catch and land more fish!

> I know people that change the hooks…I take it right out of the box just the way it was made and can catch as many fish as you’ll ever catch by changing the hooks. The key is to fight the fish slow…because of the smaller hooks. Most people lose fish because they’re pumping the fish too hard. And when your fish gets to the surface, your buddy better have a net under it.

Don’t want anyone’s brain to explode, so we’re going to pump the brakes right here…. Will talk more (how to fish ’em, color selection, you name it) soon-ish ‘cuz it doesn’t get much more fun or efficient:

Possible state-record walleye caught

…found floating [broken-heart emoji] in MT’s Holter Lake by local hammer Trevor Johnson, guide/owner of Kit’s Tackle. Said he’s personally seen lots of fish up to 35″ and even weighed fish up to 17-lbs, but that this one was “ginormous” and on a whole ‘nother level:

RIP big mama!

Spinner rig new weeds for early-summer walleyes.

If you’re not following full-time guide Tom Boley over on the YouTubez yet…better get on it! Dude kicks out a ton of content and does a great job of breaking down the where/why…not just the what. His newest vid breaks down how he fishes spinner rigs for early-summer walleyes.

Tom starts by picking out some of the biggest shallow pieces of structure on the lake, and fishes right in the 8-13′ newly emerging weeds. Sometimes the inside or outside edge, but most fish’ll be right in ’em now as the weeds aren’t up too thick/tall yet:

Water temps were roughly 65 degrees and had the fish fairly scattered…so pulling spinners can be a great way to cover water and find where they’re at before they bunch up in their summer spots. Check the full vid here:

Keep cranking out the quality vids, man!

Real-life video games.

I’m on my way back from a couple stellar days at Flag Island Resort on Lake of the Woods. We caught walleyes a ton of different ways (spinners, Jigging Raps, cranks, you name it) but one of the coolest was vertical jigging ’em up on my gen 1 Humminbird HELIX 12s. Tell me this wouldn’t get yer heart pumping?

Spoiler alert: This was a freakin’ giant!

That was the “before,” now time for the “after” shot…a Lake of the Woods mud melon my new buddy Jack Kons stuck on a “UV pink tiger” Northland Tackle Long Shank Fire-Ball Jig:

Jack’s a bass-head at heart, but I somehow convinced him to hold the icky walleye for a pic before letting her go. Still can’t believe he was going to lip it (lol Jack-o!).

Don’t worry, they let me stick a few hosses too…including this big-head from our first hour on the water day 1. Caught pulling a “copper” Rainbow Spinner Harness and ‘crawler into the wind at 0.8-1.2 mph in 8-9’:

Will have a pile of tip videos and pics from our trip coming at you soon-ish!

Three-eyed walleye caught!

Found this snap floating ’round the internet of a real-life Blinky:

Looks like it was caught in Manitoba’s greenback country, or maybe Springfield, OR?


Back with the regular news section on Friday!

Phantom Lures Giveaway!

Hope you’ve gotten in on our Phantom Lures giveaway? We’re dishin’ out a $150-ish prize pack to 3 different winners! Yup, they make killer WALLEYE baits too. Takes 10 seconds to enter here. As always, can share the link you get for bonus entries — good luck!

Tip of the Day

How Eric Naig trolls bottom-bouncers.

Northland Tackle’s Eric Naig gives away all of his bottom-bouncer secrets while on Lake of the Woods, his “favorite place in the world to fish.”

> A 1.5-oz Northland Rock Runner is the most universal size. My rule of thumb is 1-oz in less than 10′, 1.5-oz in 11-25′, 2-oz from 26-35′, and 3-oz for anything over 35.

> Want to have enough weight so that your bottom-bouncer is at a 45° angle…will keep you out of snags. The shorter the leader, the less snags you’ll get.

My all-time favorite color on Lake of the Woods is the “golden shiner” Northland Baitfish Image Blades. I like to make a perch pattern in my beads when I tie my own rigs: some greens, reds and oranges. That rig has caught me a lot of fish.

> Nightcrawlers, minnows and leeches all work well, but one of my favorite things to use is the Impulse Rig’N Leech.

> Lay your blade in the water and make sure it’s spinning, but ideally I like to stay between 0.8-1.2 mph. I put my trolling motor on continuous so it’s always moving.

He didn’t say it, but no need to feed ’em line when you get bit or they might feel the weight of that extra hardware. Instead lower your rod tip and sweep into ’em.

Check Eric’s full vid here.

Quote of the Day

“If you were spotting and stalking whitetails, and glassed every inch of a field or valley without seeing anything, would you still sneak out there on your hands and knees just because it looks so good?”

– Still one of my favorite-ever quotes from Scott Glorvigan, who’s talking about trusting your electronics and not fishing memories (spots you’ve done well on in the past) if you go through ’em without graphing any fish.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Still not sure what I was thinking letting the Northland Tackle crew borrow my Lund 1825 Pro Guide, but they rocked the #TillerLife

If you can’t tell, they didn’t wanna give her back:

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